School-Record Four Frog Golfers Earn Berths in 105th U.S. Amateur
Aug. 3, 2005
FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU's James Sacheck, Franklin Corpening, Jon McLean and Jesse Speirs are among 312 golfers who have qualified for the 105th U.S. Amateur Championship, which will be contested at the historic Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., from Aug. 22-28. All four players will be making their U.S. Amateur debuts thanks to strong performances in their respective sectional qualifiers.
Sacheck had a runner-up finish at the qualifying tournament at the Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis, Ind., on Monday. His 36-hole score of 137 earned him the second of three spots from his region.
Sacheck was a key member of the Horned Frogs' school-record fifth straight conference championship team last year, placing fourth at the Conference USA Championships. In addition to being a member of the all-tournament team, he was named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll for his academic work. The native of Zionsville, Ind., carried a 74.47 stroke average and had three sub-70 rounds in six events last year.
Corpening, also a sophomore, placed second at the Great Southwest Golf Club qualifier in Grand Prairie, Texas. The Fort Worth Paschal product fired a two-round 139, just one off the medalist score, to earn the final berth by three strokes over the third-place finishers.
Last year, Corpening made an immediate impact at TCU, playing in six tournaments in his first season with the nationally-ranked Horned Frogs. He owned a 76.00 stroke average over 18 rounds of play, and garnered a top-20 finish at The Ridges Intercollegiate, his first collegiate event.
McLean, a native of Weston, Fla., who last week reached the Sweet 16 at the Western Amateur, advanced to the U.S. Amateur by virtue of a victory in a sudden-death playoff for the second and final spot. He reached the playoff after posting a 36-hole sum of 137 at the Sleepy Hollow Golf Club in Hurricane, W.Va.
McLean, who signed a National Letter of Intent last November, is one of the most highly-touted recruits in school history. In 2004, he earned first-team Rolex Junior All-America honors from the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and was a member of the United States' Canon Cup team.
Speirs, who hails from Bangor, Maine, recorded a runner-up finish at the Sanford Country Club qualifier in Sanford, Maine. The TCU signee advanced by one stroke after carding a two-round 145 (+1).
In July, Speirs participated in the highly competitive U.S. Public Links Championship. Last year, he finished tied for 25th at the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Speirs also is a three-time winner of the Maine Junior Amateur Championship.
The USGA accepted more than 7,000 entries for the 2005 U.S. Amateur. Over the last two weeks, sectional qualifying was conducted over 36 holes at 100 sites to finalize the 312-person field. Following two rounds of stroke play from Aug. 22-23, the field will be cut to the low 64 amateurs. Those 64 players will then compete in a match play elimination tournament until the championship, which will take place on Sunday, Aug. 28. The stroke play portion will be played on Merion's East and West Courses, while the match play will be contested strictly on the East Course.
The furthest that any TCU golfer has ever advanced in the U.S. Amateur is the match play round of 16. That feat has been accomplished three times: by current PGA Tour star J.J. Henry and former Horned Frog All-Americans Adam Rubinson and J.J. Killeen. Prior to this year, TCU had never had more than three players qualify for the U.S. Amateur in a single year.
The U.S. Amateur, the oldest USGA championship, was first played in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. The event, which has no age restriction, is open to those with a Handicap Index of 2.4 or lower. For more information and live scoring of the tournament, visit the tournament's official website: www.usamateur.org.